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Have you ever watched a parent teach a child it is ok to steal? I see it far
to often. One wall of the museum art studio is 1/2 floor to almost ceiling
cupboards (the other half is sinks and cleaning closet). I have seen parents
take down our activity and pull out supplies and make up their own
activities - often these supplies are for planned activities or classes.
During our Mexican Folk Toys Exhibit, two girls came out and asked if they
could take some yarn home to finish their God's Eyes. I said sure. They
walked out looking about 20 pounds heavier - they had stuffed 2 milk crates
of yarn down their shirts. We have a recycling table with some exhibits (it
stays up till I get sick of cleaning it then comes down for a few months).
After we have given the school kids their plastic bags to carry their art
back to school, some parents encourage them to take whatever they want off
the recycling table - I've seen it almost emptied while the next group was
waiting to come into the art studio. The parent could see these kids waiting
outside and she was encouraging her kid and the girl's friends to take
everything they could carry out!
Every time I have stopped them, and every time I get a variation on the same
response. We paid our admission fee we should be able to take what ever we
want. People admission to the museum is $2.00 per person with discounts for
Military, Military Dependents, seniors, Angelo State University students,
San Angelo ISD students (we are partnering with the university and the ISD
for some projects), and school groups are a $1.00 per student and no charge
for adults - and they want to take $10 -$50 dollars of supplies home with
At least the people who steal from the gravity well and donation jar don't
pretend - they just say if you don't want us to take it you shouldn't leave
The woman who took the cake is the ************ who spent an hour trying to
save my soul by bringing me over to Jesus and condemning all Catholics to
hell as idol worshipers (she heard me say something to a coworker about
meeting her after Mass to go to a movie - the joys of life in the bible belt
is a whole other post) - then tried to justify walking out with a stack of
my construction paper as getting the most out of her admission money!
On the other hand I have parents who come to the museum just to drop off
stuff for the recycled art table or extra supplies that they had left over
from a project they did at their child's school/scout troop/church class -
like a box of clay - and the teacher wasn't going to be able to use it and
didn't have storage for it.
Kimberly Herbert (kimberly)
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts/Children's Art Museum
Here's the facts...
The colored pencils were in a labeled box- with my handwriting. They were
not covered but were out in the open (because I have no closet and must get
everything set for the day). Since my building is 3 floors plus a modular
building and I only have 5 minutes between classes- no cart here! - I often
have to set things up in my hall space. The supplies in question were
property of the art dept. Because this school is so much larger than my
others, with higher class sizes, I often borrow supplies from the other
schools that I teach at. Such was the case here.
The town allows for a specific dollar amt. to be spent on each student,
however the principal at this school cut my budget to pay for classroom
teachers' art supplies... something I plan to propose changing this year. I
am only a 2nd year teacher and learning quickly to speak up! Sorry for
venting without providing the facts. I simply can't get over someone taking
student supplies just because they are out in the open! Too trusting I
By the way she admitted that she was taking them home for her own use but
without apology. It wasn't until after I explained that they were needed
the students that she was "sorry". It would have been much different if it
were for classroom use that benefits the students. Still, I do like to know
when someone is borrowing or taking supplies. I know that it happens often
without so much as a note. This makes it difficult for me to keep track of
my stock. We had another incident where the oaktag disappeared this year-
all of it!!!!
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